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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:32 AM   #101
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HP market cap is down to 29.4B (now $23.0B). AAPL could buy it and transform some of the enterprise stuff to emphasize compatibility with iOS and OSX. Probably some helpful real estate assets as well.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:34 AM   #102
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Businesses who sell high-quality products will survive - and often excel - through both bad times and good.

The companies who jeopardize themselves (Sony, Dell, etc.) do so by turning to lower-quality products in exchange for greater volume. Never a good idea in the long run.

It's also hard to call, say, an iMac a "luxury item" when it sells for less than the equivalent product did 15 years ago (not even adjusting for inflation). That's not luxury. That's maintaining your high quality standards while your competitors slash each others throats with cheap junk.
Agreed. The iMac isn't luxury, but it is more expensive than other viable computer solutions.

I think the Sony's and Dell's had no choice but to compete on price because they were basically just selling the Windows OS. Apple could differentiate because it kept itself the sole source (basically) of the Mac OS. If there was a PC maker out there selling high quality computers in volume, I'd say these guys had a choice. But Sony is really the only company out there doing that and I don't believe their high end computers sell at high volumes.

I think it is more than just the fact that you are selling high quality. As wealth and disposable income gets more and more concentrated, it is better to sell to where the money is. You want to sell to the top 10% in the U.S., because that, by and large, is where all the discretionary money is. If that doesn't change, then Apple may be able to do fine even in a double dip recession. (Albeit fine probably doesn't mean maintaining a $500 billion market cap.)
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 11:49 AM   #103
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Happens all the time the big investment houses or market makers as they are called get their analysts and brokers to put out a lot of bad news to depress a stock. The small investors panic and start to dump their holding while the big boys wait for the price to get as low as they want before gradually increasing their holding. When the the time is right they then get the analysts and brokers to change to a positive spin and watch the profits roll in. This has always happened and always will. You have to look past the tom toms beating in the streat to figure out what is really going on.
Only two problems with your analysis. First, what you describe is a federal crime. Second, "small investors" don't drive markets, the institutional investors do. So I'd say that you haven't figured out anything.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:15 PM   #104
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Only two problems with your analysis. First, what you describe is a federal crime. Second, "small investors" don't drive markets, the institutional investors do. So I'd say that you haven't figured out anything.
You seem to have misunderstood my point, the large institutions are driving this but rely on scaring up the small investors to help lower the stock prices. This normally goes as follows, large investors dump their stock at current high price and then the analysts start to put out some FUD. The small investors panic because the price has fallen already because the big inverters have dumped stock. This causes the price to fall even further and when it reaches the price the big investors want they start to buy in and the price starts to rise again, then the analysts suddenly start to put a positive spin on the stock and it goes up even more as the small inverters start to buy in again. Analysts putting out negative analysis is perfectly legal because they always say its only their opinion of some fact or other. Maybe you should actually read what I wrote more carefully before coming out with insulting comments, I used to work for large institutional investment houses and know exactly how this works. I think its you that doesn't understand.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:20 PM   #105
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You seem to have misunderstood my point, the large institutions are driving this but rely on scaring up the small investors to help lower the stock prices. This normally goes as follows, large investors dump their stock at current high price and then the analysts start to put out some FUD. The small investors panic because the price has fallen already because the big inverters have dumped stock. This causes the price to fall even further and when it reaches the price the big investors want they start to buy in and the price starts to rise again, then the analysts suddenly start to put a positive spin on the stock and it goes up even more as the small inverters start to buy in again. Analysts putting out negative analysis is perfectly legal because they always say its only their opinion of some fact or other. Maybe you should actually read what I wrote more carefully before coming out with insulting comments, I used to work for large institutional investment houses and know exactly how this works. I think its you that doesn't understand.
Actually, he is very knowledgeable in this sort of thing and has been over the many years I have been a part of this forum
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:27 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by everything-i View Post
You seem to have misunderstood my point, the large institutions are driving this but rely on scaring up the small investors to help lower the stock prices. This normally goes as follows, large investors dump their stock at current high price and then the analysts start to put out some FUD. The small investors panic because the price has fallen already because the big inverters have dumped stock. This causes the price to fall even further and when it reaches the price the big investors want they start to buy in and the price starts to rise again, then the analysts suddenly start to put a positive spin on the stock and it goes up even more as the small inverters start to buy in again. Analysts putting out negative analysis is perfectly legal because they always say its only their opinion of some fact or other. Maybe you should actually read what I wrote more carefully before coming out with insulting comments, I used to work for large institutional investment houses and know exactly how this works. I think its you that doesn't understand.
No, I didn't misunderstand what you said. You described a process where analysts collude to invent bad news for a stock and sell on that news and then presumably invent some good news and buy. That would be a clear and apparent federal crime if it actually happened, which presumably you know if you'd worked for an investment company. What's more "panicking" small investors wouldn't have much impact anyway, since small investors make up such a relatively small part of the market. So I totally understand. What you describe is illegal.

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Actually, he is very knowledgeable in this sort of thing and has been over the many years I have been a part of this forum
What he describes is illegal, very clearly. Anyone caught doing what he describes would go to jail.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:09 PM   #107
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No, I didn't misunderstand what you said. You described a process where analysts collude to invent bad news for a stock and sell on that news and then presumably invent some good news and buy. That would be a clear and apparent federal crime if it actually happened, which presumably you know if you'd worked for an investment company. What's more "panicking" small investors wouldn't have much impact anyway, since small investors make up such a relatively small part of the market. So I totally understand. What you describe is illegal.

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What he describes is illegal, very clearly. Anyone caught doing what he describes would go to jail.
C'mon, alot of people here on this site are blaming the investment firms and their Pump and Dump schemes.

It couldn't possibly be the overall condition of the stock market, Apple's shrinking margins, their slowdown in growth, the uncertainty of the Chinese Carrier deals and investor emotions now could it? No... it was the big bad wall street firms manipulating the stock! It was on this website's forums so it has to be true.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:28 PM   #108
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No, I didn't misunderstand what you said. You described a process where analysts collude to invent bad news for a stock and sell on that news and then presumably invent some good news and buy. That would be a clear and apparent federal crime if it actually happened, which presumably you know if you'd worked for an investment company. What's more "panicking" small investors wouldn't have much impact anyway, since small investors make up such a relatively small part of the market. So I totally understand. What you describe is illegal.

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What he describes is illegal, very clearly. Anyone caught doing what he describes would go to jail.
No it is only illegal if the news is factually inaccurate or news is obtained from sources that should not be accessed such as obtaining information from corporate financiers on mergers etc. As I said analysts always pitch their reports as opinion. If they accurately report a fact but put positive or negative spin on it or an over or under estimate of growth that is speculative news and cannot be considered anything other than opinion, recently analysts reported way over optimistic results for Apple and Apple naturally failed to meet these estimates so the market becomes worried and prices fall. The news isn't invented its just the way its reported that creates FUD in the market. Its called the rumour mill and the skill of the investor is to cut though it and see the underlying trends.

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:59 PM   #109
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Actually, he is very knowledgeable in this sort of thing and has been over the many years I have been a part of this forum
Maybe my comment has caused him some confusion but spin put on facts by analysts is what causes the FUD not inaccurate or illegal reporting. If an analyst produces a report with wild over or under estimation of company performance that is not illegal its just opinion, not illegal in any way. How the market reacts to that is then what my message is trying to convey. Big investors manipulate the market using all kinds of tactics like this. Push the stock down with FUD take a position then wait for good news to push the stock back up. Half the rumours you see on this site start this way, analyst says....

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C'mon, alot of people here on this site are blaming the investment firms and their Pump and Dump schemes.

It couldn't possibly be the overall condition of the stock market, Apple's shrinking margins, their slowdown in growth, the uncertainty of the Chinese Carrier deals and investor emotions now could it? No... it was the big bad wall street firms manipulating the stock! It was on this website's forums so it has to be true.
No but talking up the good news or the bad news creates an overall feeling in the market, big investors are not too affected by it but the smaller ones are and that's what moves the price. Apple went so high because the company was over hyped by analysts then it fails to hit their over inflated targets and it falls. Then all of a sudden the analysts are talking it up again and its rising again. The price is governed to a large extent by the rumour mill with high volume stock like Apple which has very large numbers of smaller investors.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 05:58 PM   #110
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I thought Apple was at $700 -- what happened??? They are calling $559 a "surge" on the up-direction??? Did I miss something? When the stock tank so suddenly??? And why? I thought Apple execs were selling their stock now because it was over $700. I guess I am out of the loop.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 07:58 PM   #111
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I thought Apple was at $700 -- what happened??? They are calling $559 a "surge" on the up-direction??? Did I miss something? When the stock tank so suddenly??? And why? I thought Apple execs were selling their stock now because it was over $700. I guess I am out of the loop.
For the largest market cap stock to move appreciably in any direction requires LARGE buyers or sellers. We recently saw large sellers. Tax motivated selling, rebalancing after large gains compared to other stocks in their portfolio (which is of questionable logic). I have always wondered why buy and hold investors don't simply install 3-5% stop-losses and repurchase near the bottom of corrections. I suppose that is tax motivated as well, otherwise common sense would prevail. Nothing simpler or stupider (in a good way) than a stop-loss. Here's a chart. Hardly anyone sold at the top BTW. Check the volume figures. Suspended disbelief (stock RDF).

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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:45 PM   #112
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So the Analysts who trashed Apple that caused massive sell off are praising its virtues again?

I can only guess who bought all these shares when they were down.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:46 PM   #113
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I bought quite a lot at 86, literally during the iPhone demo in January 07. I sold HALF when it got to 170, paying for the original investment. Wish I had let it ride, but that wouldn't have been smart decision.

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One would hope everyone that isn't doing this for a living is investing in an IRA. Mines in a ROTH thank goodness.
Hmm...Well a Roth can still be invested in volatile markets. I guess right now Money Markets are the safest, but you're lucky to get a 2% return. As of right now I've got about a 700% return on my Apple stock. Times are tough and will get worse I think. Hopefully not so bad as some believe, where you'll need a gun to protect from roaming looters. I guess we will find out soon enough.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:50 PM   #114
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Maybe my comment has caused him some confusion but spin put on facts by analysts is what causes the FUD not inaccurate or illegal reporting. If an analyst produces a report with wild over or under estimation of company performance that is not illegal its just opinion, not illegal in any way. How the market reacts to that is then what my message is trying to convey. Big investors manipulate the market using all kinds of tactics like this. Push the stock down with FUD take a position then wait for good news to push the stock back up. Half the rumours you see on this site start this way, analyst says....
No confusion here. By your definition, essentially all trading in stocks represents a "manipulation," since everyone is trading on what they know or think they know about the future (much more the latter than the former). Since this is fundamentally why stocks rise or fall, it's all a big manipulation, right?

If any brokerage firm puts out information that they know to be inaccurate or misleading, let alone false or collusive, and moreover if they profit by that information, then they are liable for prosecution by the SEC. And since these brokerage firms are responsible to their clients, it's unwise in the extreme for them to mislead anyone, and not especially for their own trading gains. That's just a bad business on the one hand, and a felony on the other.

Now, if you are also saying that the brokerage firms and the institutional traders are way ahead of us poor retail investors, then I agree with you 100%. In fact I've said that already, by way of advising everyone who isn't investing tens of millions or more of other people's money to never stare into the hairy eyeball of the market and pretend like you have any control over it. At best, we retail investors are along for the ride, so we have to remain calm and not be herded. I suggest, try not looking at your portfolio at all for a month or two at a time, and see if you can stand it. If you can't, then probably you are a good candidate mutual funds, or maybe even certificates of deposit.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:00 PM   #115
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C'mon, alot of people here on this site are blaming the investment firms and their Pump and Dump schemes.

It couldn't possibly be the overall condition of the stock market, Apple's shrinking margins, their slowdown in growth, the uncertainty of the Chinese Carrier deals and investor emotions now could it? No... it was the big bad wall street firms manipulating the stock! It was on this website's forums so it has to be true.
You have to notice that nobody called it a conspiracy when AAPL shot up 15% in just a few weeks. Ah, but it was a completely different story when AAPL retraced those gains along with a general market decline, not to mention, a missed earnings report, sales of the iPhone 5 that fell short of the most optimistic projections, and a less than blockbuster reception for the iPad mini. This even before we get to Apple's guidance for next quarter, which if it turned out to be true, would represent the first year-over-year decline in earnings since... would it be 2001? But no, none of that stuff affects the mood of traders so much as some blowhard analyst's opinion, because otherwise we wouldn't know about that other stuff.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:09 PM   #116
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You described a process where analysts collude to invent bad news for a stock and sell on that news and then presumably invent some good news and buy.
You make two false assumptions about what is necessary for this process. You assume "collusion" and "invention". The news doesn't haven't to be invented. There is always potential news, usually too much to report. Thus no invention of news is required. The analysts who honestly report bad news when the stock goes down and insightfully report good news when the stock goes up are though by the small dumb investors to be brilliant and thus they stay in business. The analysts who do the opposite are thought to be quacks who thus go out of business. Or are ignored as habitual contrarians (trolls on this site). Thus, no payola or collusion is required for the bulk of the reporting to go in the direction that market manipulation requires.

Since there is no payola, invention or collusion to be found, prosecution of this market manipulation becomes nearly impossible (unless the prosecutor is skilled and guilty of the aforementioned.)
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:35 PM   #117
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No confusion here. By your definition, essentially all trading in stocks represents a "manipulation," since everyone is trading on what they know or think they know about the future (much more the latter than the former). Since this is fundamentally why stocks rise or fall, it's all a big manipulation, right?

If any brokerage firm puts out information that they know to be inaccurate or misleading, let alone false or collusive, and moreover if they profit by that information, then they are liable for prosecution by the SEC. And since these brokerage firms are responsible to their clients, it's unwise in the extreme for them to mislead anyone, and not especially for their own trading gains. That's just a bad business on the one hand, and a felony on the other.

Now, if you are also saying that the brokerage firms and the institutional traders are way ahead of us poor retail investors, then I agree with you 100%. In fact I've said that already, by way of advising everyone who isn't investing tens of millions or more of other people's money to never stare into the hairy eyeball of the market and pretend like you have any control over it. At best, we retail investors are along for the ride, so we have to remain calm and not be herded. I suggest, try not looking at your portfolio at all for a month or two at a time, and see if you can stand it. If you can't, then probably you are a good candidate mutual funds, or maybe even certificates of deposit.

You seem knowledgable and intelligent, but maybe a little naive? After studying the in's and out's of the subprime mortgage debacle and the games that were played by all concerned, I don't find it hard to believe that Apple's stock price is being manipulated by Wall Street. I've worked for many different companies over the years (none of them financial) and I always noticed that each company had the "official party line" of "never do anything illegal". Then there was the unofficial line where employees who were pushing the boundaries past the legal limit and bringing in big profits were highly rewarded. (Unofficially of course). I'm just saying manipulation is hard to prove, especially when everyone involved is denying it, and the only proof you have is someones opinion. Unless you have a "moral whistle blower" who is willing to give up everything to stand up for the truth, it's generally a lost cause in trying to prosecute. Maybe I'm wrong and all the people doing illegal things are brought to justice and pay the price for there misdeeds. Personally I don't think I'm wrong.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 10:32 PM   #118
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You have to notice that nobody called it a conspiracy when AAPL shot up 15% in just a few weeks. Ah, but it was a completely different story when AAPL retraced those gains along with a general market decline, not to mention, a missed earnings report, sales of the iPhone 5 that fell short of the most optimistic projections, and a less than blockbuster reception for the iPad mini. This even before we get to Apple's guidance for next quarter, which if it turned out to be true, would represent the first year-over-year decline in earnings since... would it be 2001? But no, none of that stuff affects the mood of traders so much as some blowhard analyst's opinion, because otherwise we wouldn't know about that other stuff.
Step carefully - the Apple fans don't take kindly to rational thinking here.

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:37 AM   #119
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Step carefully - the Apple fans don't take kindly to rational thinking here.

As an Apple fan (and an AAPL fan), I suppose I should resemble that remark.

In any case, I think I will stick to my policy of only responding to arguments I've actually made. It tends to wind discussions down pretty quickly.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 01:28 AM   #120
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In any case, I think I will stick to my policy of only responding to arguments I've actually made. It tends to wind discussions down pretty quickly.
Flame bait deftly avoided. Nicely played. Those Microsoft shills never give up.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 04:16 AM   #121
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No confusion here. By your definition, essentially all trading in stocks represents a "manipulation," since everyone is trading on what they know or think they know about the future (much more the latter than the former). Since this is fundamentally why stocks rise or fall, it's all a big manipulation, right?

If any brokerage firm puts out information that they know to be inaccurate or misleading, let alone false or collusive, and moreover if they profit by that information, then they are liable for prosecution by the SEC. And since these brokerage firms are responsible to their clients, it's unwise in the extreme for them to mislead anyone, and not especially for their own trading gains. That's just a bad business on the one hand, and a felony on the other.

Now, if you are also saying that the brokerage firms and the institutional traders are way ahead of us poor retail investors, then I agree with you 100%. In fact I've said that already, by way of advising everyone who isn't investing tens of millions or more of other people's money to never stare into the hairy eyeball of the market and pretend like you have any control over it. At best, we retail investors are along for the ride, so we have to remain calm and not be herded. I suggest, try not looking at your portfolio at all for a month or two at a time, and see if you can stand it. If you can't, then probably you are a good candidate mutual funds, or maybe even certificates of deposit.
As I said the analysts are only ever reporting the facts but they can pick and choose the facts they report and will put a spin on it. Not inaccurate but biased. To say that collusion with big investment houses isn't done when many Of the analysts are actually employees of these firms is a little naive. We are currently in the biggest financial crisis ever caused by sharp practices in the banks and the big investment house have been no better or worse for decades they stay just the right side of the law. It's just a very refined version pump and dump at the end of the day.

You have the right idea saying try not to be herded, if you can cut through the rumours and try to see what is really going on it makes investment a lot easier but without access to the expensive hight end analysis that is reserved for the large investors its hard. The stuff that gets handed to the masses is just garbage most of the time. Also the brokerages are following their own agenda too they just want to keep volumes hight so Apple is a gift for them and the more volatile the better. Best to avoid any comment that comes from brokers unless they have a vested interest in you, they are just sales men after all.

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Old Nov 21, 2012, 06:55 AM   #122
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What puzzles me in this conversation is that with all this talk of the evil analysts manipulating the news, on the last earnings report, when Apple dropped significantly, all I heard on CNBC was "This doesn't make any damned sense."
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:48 AM   #123
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What puzzles me in this conversation is that with all this talk of the evil analysts manipulating the news, on the last earnings report, when Apple dropped significantly, all I heard on CNBC was "This doesn't make any damned sense."
When, ironically, it made perfect sense. I have rarely seen any stock that didn't drop when the company failed to beat the street, unless the guidance for the next quarter was so strong that it mitigated any fears of a declining rate of earnings growth. Unfortunately Apple's guidance was not overly optimistic, even taking into account their history of offering very conservative guidance. All in all, Apple had a pretty awful month, and the markets overall also had a bad month, taking the averages back to where they were in mid-summer. AAPL isn't immune from either bad news or market pull-backs and not especially when they hit several walls at once.

But again and again, I have to notice that none of the conspiracy theorists address these issues, or even acknowledge their existence. But that's the appeal of conspiracy theories -- since they can never be totally disproved, they must be correct. It's impossible to argue with this sort of logic.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 03:37 PM   #124
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When, ironically, it made perfect sense. I have rarely seen any stock that didn't drop when the company failed to beat the street, unless the guidance for the next quarter was so strong that it mitigated any fears of a declining rate of earnings growth. Unfortunately Apple's guidance was not overly optimistic, even taking into account their history of offering very conservative guidance. All in all, Apple had a pretty awful month, and the markets overall also had a bad month, taking the averages back to where they were in mid-summer. AAPL isn't immune from either bad news or market pull-backs and not especially when they hit several walls at once.

But again and again, I have to notice that none of the conspiracy theorists address these issues, or even acknowledge their existence. But that's the appeal of conspiracy theories -- since they can never be totally disproved, they must be correct. It's impossible to argue with this sort of logic.
I see...So was the subprime mortgage debacle just another conspiracy theory? Some of us crazies think it actually happened.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 03:48 PM   #125
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I see...So was the subprime mortgage debacle just another conspiracy theory? Some of us crazies think it actually happened.
Sigh.
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